The Boston Marathon is officially underway, and while each participant has their own reason for running the annual race, Daniel Hincapie is doing it in memory of a love lost too soon.
Hincapie revealed to CBS Boston that he decided to run the Boston Marathon in honor of Wendy Martinez, his fiancée who was stabbed to death in September 2018 while on a run near her Logan Circle home in Washington, D.C.
“I’m confident I’m going to be able to finish,” he said. “I’m going to run in my heart, and I’m quite sure that Wendy is going to be right there next to me, mile by mile.”
Martinez got engaged to Hincapie just a week before she was murdered, PEOPLE previously reported. She had been training for the marathon and was said to have been an “avid runner” that jogged to “release stress,” according to a family statement provided to local TV station WRC last year.
Anthony Crawford, 23, was charged in the stabbing, and police previously said the murder was “unprovoked.” In February, Crawford was found not competent to stand trial, according to NBC Washington. After 30 days of psychiatric treatment and medication, he was ruled competent for trial in March, local outlet WJLA reported. He has not entered a plea.
“It almost feels like I’m running right next to her,” Hincapie said to CBS Boston. “It’s like she’s there. It reminds me a lot of Wendy. She was a very competitive runner, and Boston was her dream.”
Hincapie’s marathon run is for the Lungzi Foundation, which is named after one of the victims of the 2013 Marathon bombings. In addition, he is raising money for an organization that he started in Martinez’s name, dedicated to creating scholarships for women.
“I want people to not be afraid,” he told CBS Boston. “You have to continue running. You have to go out there, and you have to continue pursuing the dreams of your loved ones. These types of events are not going to win. Violence and hate are not going to win.”